It looked as if the Tigers would get their first sweep of the year today. They led 3-1 going into the ninth and Todd Jones who was unscored upon in 8 previous appearances was on the mound. However, you could sense trouble when Jones issued a rare walk to leadoff batter David DeJesus. After all, Todd's success depends on his control. Sure enough, he allowed 2 hits and 2 runs and the Royals tied the game. He actually almost got out of it on a game ending double play ball to shortstop but Ross Gload was just barely safe at first and Mark Teahen scored to send it into extra innings. John Buck then put the Royals ahead 4-3 by belting a solo home run off Fernando Rodney in the 10th and that was the final score.
The Tigers offense could not do much with Gil Meche who is, thus far, making his huge contract look a little more reasonable. Meche pitched 8 innings allowing 3 unearned runs on 6 hits. They did even less against Joakim Soria who recorded 4 strikeouts in 2 shutout innings. The leading Tigers hitters were Curtis Granderson with 3 hits and Placido Polanco and Craig Monroe with 2 apiece. Monroe had put the Tigers ahead with a 2 run single in the 3 run 6th inning.
Eric Jackson also has a nice recap
Two key players are becoming just a bit of a concern. First, Fernando Rodney has now allowed 14 base runners in 7 1/3 innings which has resulted in one or more runs in 4 out of his 7 appearances. I still expect him to come around but he has not been sharp yet and it doesn't take a lot for a reliever to have an off season.
The other concern is Gary Sheffield. His .133 batting average does not worry me but his 13 strikeouts in 15 games is a bit alarming. In the games I've seen, he has looked bad chasing a lot more balls than I would expect from him. Since he has never struck out more than 83 times in a season, his current rate is pretty unusual. I'm still confident, he will turn it around but one has to be just a little concerned. about the k rate.
Somebody not to worry about is Jeremy Bonderman who now is 4 for 4 in quality starts despite having no wins to show for it. He allowed just 1 run on 3 hits while striking out 6 and walking nobody in 7 innings. For the season, he has a 2.25 ERA and a 21/3 K/BB ration in 28 innings. This is another example why the win/loss stat for pitchers is simply not very useful.